Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

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How to shorten lower masts without taking them out.

On our passage out to the Cape of Good Hope in Her Majesty's sloop Jaseur, she was found to be very much overmasted; and on our arrival at the Cape, the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Charles Schomberg, gave orders for her lower masts to be shortened. We accomplished it in the following manner. When stripped to the lower masts, the two main-top-masts were erected as sheers for the fore-masts; the lower rigging being removed, the purchase-blocks were lashed to the mast, (the decks having been previously shored up), shear guys were hauled well taut to the stem and stern of the ship; when everything was quite ready, the mast was hove up sufficiently high for the carpenters to cut off the quantity required, on the lower deck, and make a fresh step; previous to which, rackings were put on every part of the purchase, where they could possibly be useful. The fore-mast was stepped again in about an hour from the time that the carpenters (the dead-eyes being turned in afresh at the same time), commenced to work at it. The sheers were then walked aft, and the main-mast raised, cut, and stepped in the same manner. The fore and main-mast were then rigged, and the sheers were then taken down. A derrick was made of the spare main-topmast, by which the mizen-mast was raised, cut, and stepped. The whole was done in a very short time.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.